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1. Name: .............................................. Group........................ Independent Learning Sheets – Evolutionary Explanations of Parental Investment.…
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  • 1. Name: .............................................. Group........................ Independent Learning Sheets – Evolutionary Explanations of Parental Investment. Textbook p.115 More than 100 years after Darwin proposed the mechanism ‘sexual selection’, Robert Trivers suggested that choosiness in females is a direct result of the fact that they make the biggest ‘INVESTMENT’ in their offspring. He called it ‘parental investment’ Explain why the female is the parent that makes the biggest investment...................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Compare the sex differences in parental investment including why it is the mother, rather than the father, who carries out the majority of the postnatal care. .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... This bird is a cuckoo – The cuckoo lays in wait until another bird (such as a thrush) leaves its nest and eggs, it then flies down and lays its egg in the unsuspecting bird’s nest. The female cuckoo flies off and leaves the cuckolded bird to bring up her young. 1
  • 2. Using the term ‘cuckoldry’ explain how that same thing can happen to human males. .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Sexual Jealousy : Evolutionary Psychologists argue that this trait has evolved as a result of the danger of cuckoldry and the male’s desire for assured paternity. When asked to imagine sexual infidelity of their partner Buss et al (1992) found that the objective measure (galvanic skin response) was much higher in ................ than females. Females had a much higher response to emotional infidelity than males. According to Buss (1995) the trait ‘sexual jealousy’ has evolved in response. Why is this more likely to be a trait that males have whereas women are more likely to have emotional jealousy? .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Key Research : Geher et al (2007) p116 Aim: to find out whether : since females are better prepared both physically and psychologically than males to look after children is this as a result of evolutionary forces/pressures or of cultural pressures? (nature or nurture (A03). Procedure:1. Asked 91 undergraduate students (not parents) to complete a parental investment perception scale which asked how they perceived themselves in terms of parenting. Findings: No real or significant differences between males and females. Procedure:2 They were then exposed to a series of scenarios (scenes or stories) where the parenting might be very costly e.g. cancelling an important work appointment too stay home and look after a sick child. At the same time their autonomic nervous system (ANS) was measured. 2
  • 3. Findings: .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Evaluation: However, these results could be explained in terms of the ................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... ....... (Approaches : The Evolutionary Perspective A03) However, the tendency for males to overestimate their attitudes towards investing in offspring suggests that this is adaptive in nature. An evolutionary explanation suggests that males who are prone towards this error should get mating benefits, i.e. they may be rated as being more desirable as a potential mate, when they are compared with other males. Key research: Anderson et al (1999) Sex differences in investment in stepchildren As a means of assessing paternal investment strategies they measured............................................................................................................... They found that ................................................................................................................................. .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... ......... Commentary: This is surprising because ............................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... However, it can be explained .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Parental investment and mating behaviour: The human male’s best mating strategy to optimise his reproductive success is to put more effort into mating that to parenting; in other 3
  • 4. words to pursue polygyny. The female’s best strategy is to pursue monogamy; success is not the number of times she is impregnated (this can in fact only happen every three to four years in the EEA) but her ability to successfully nurture her offspring, therefore she is more likely to pursue monogamy and ................................................. However, males do help out and this will also improve the successful maturation of the offspring,. Therefore it is in the male’s best interests to impress the female with ...................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... PARENT-OFFSPRING CONFLICT. P118 Research supports KIN SELECTION, that is we are more likely to behave altruistically (look it up!) to those individuals who carry our genes (our family) than others outside the family – so why does parent-offspring conflict exist? e.g. weaning conflict Why is there conflict? .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... (Approaches - Psychoanalytic theory A03) – Freud placed a great deal of importance on the oral stage of development arguing that this stage is very important to human development. Freud also argued that sucking occurs even when the child is not hungry or thirsty. Freud could not have known that the biggest threat to a child’s survival in subsistence conditions ( very little to eat) is ......................................................................................................... How does sucking prevent another sibling being born? .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Why would natural selection have selected for this behavioural trait in babies? 4
  • 5. .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... There are several ways in which children deal with the decrease in parental investment as their mother tries to wean them two of these are 1. .............................................................................................................................. 2. .............................................................................................................................. Daly and Wilson (1988) describe the strategy of regression, in which ............................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... ........... Key Research : Weaning conflict in the children of Bofi farmers and Bofi foragers. P119 The differences between the children of the Bofi farmers and the children of the Bofi foragers were that ................................................................................................................................. .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... ......... This can be explained by ..................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .....Evaluation : This was a cross- cultural study which often suffers from difficulties, such as, .................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................ 5
  • 6. ........................................................................................................................(Cultural Bias A03) Furthermore, there was, to some extent, a problem with generalisation and therefore external validity because .......................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... ................ Conflict at puberty It is more beneficial from a reproductive perspective to have another child rather than a grandchild because ................................................................. .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Mother Daughter conflict! Therefore women of reproductive age will be in conflict with their daughters over the right to reproduce. Evidence to support the view that conflict between mothers and daughter exists when the daughter reaches puberty and the mother is still of reproductive age comes from Trinidad Finn (1989) they found that ................................................................................................................................. .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... ......... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... However, the daughters would share the same percentage of genes with another sibling as they would with their own child (50%) and it does not benefit them to reproduce until they have the necessary resources and experience to be successful at child rearing. In a Western society with state benefits, however, the provision of resources may not be a problem. 6
  • 7. The theories concerning parent-offspring conflict are lacking in empirical evidence because ......................................................................................................... However, some evidence concerning the consequences of parent-offspring conflict comes from research by Andrews (2006) who surveyed 1600 adolescents in the USA. He found that ................................................................................................................................. .......................................................................................................................................... ......... This suggests that ................................................................................................................................. .......................................................................................................................................... ......... 7
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